Wednesday, March 6, 2013

furloughsI don’t know of any job where an employee continues to get paid week after week after week  for not doing their job.  A job where they continue to accumulate vacation time and actually take days off from the job of doing nothing whenever it suits them. Oh–no, wait a minute, I do!  Those deadbeats in the Congressional Congress, and Florida Senator Bill Nelson wants to do something about it–NOW!  Nelson is calling for Congress to take the same sequester pay cuts as any other furloughed federal worker may have to due to the sequester. He’s released a statement on his plans to reduce Congress’s pay by the greatest percentage of any federal worker furloughed as a result of the sequester. The bill would be called the Congressional Overspending Pay Accountability Act. Hmmm, has a nice ring to it.
“No one should get paid for inaction. And Congress clearly hasn’t done the job to avert the sequester…there’s absolutely no reason members of Congress should exempt themselves. We can and should reach a balanced compromise to replace these damaging across-the-board cuts, but until we do, this is an obvious step to hold Congress accountable for the job we need to get done.” says Nelson.
I concur senator.
As part of the extensive budget cuts, federal workers will be forced to take unpaid days off during the week starting in April going til September. Estimated loss in wages is at 10 to 20 percent of the workers’ pay. Who the hell could afford that now!?
According to Nelson’s office, the bill already has the backing of Senate Appropriations chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Now this is a bill I can sink my teeth into. I’m keeping my eye on this one. ♦

mother teresa.2Wow! A tough one. The Huff Post reports that Mother Teresa‘s humanitarian image is a myth, according to some new study. The first thing I’d like to know would be who initiates a study to debunk a woman who’s been deemed literally a saint in most circles around the world!? Hello!? Put some of that investigative spirit towards a cure for breast cancer, Aids, the Bird Flu even! C’mon now.
Anyhow, Canadian academics are saying don’t believe the hype over the canonized nun and report that despite her access to a massive fortune, she chose to house her masses of poor and sick patrons in shoddy facilities with little to no proper medical attention for the really sick among them. Researchers also claim that the Vatican was a culprit in a public relations scheme involving MT, aimed at overlooking her, alleged, shady financial dealings in order to  beatify her. In addition, the Vatican is said to have ignored a doctor’s opinion on the validity of the claim that Mother Teresa actually performed a miracle, healing a sick woman who had tuberculosis and an ovarian cyst (I remember that).
Just to be fair (or unfair) there are many more reports claiming that some of the beloved Catholic icon’s good deeds were fabricated for the sake of posterity. But, the official website of the Nobel Prize takes a far more positive view of her deeds, asserting that the work Mother Theresa  provided was “effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries.”
‘No good deed should go unpunished.’ as the sarcastic saying goes… ♦

hugo_chavez_white_tshirtVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday afternoon after a lengthy battle with cancer. The flamboyant 58-year-old had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. He vanished from public view after suffering from complications due to surgery and respiratory infections. More than a decade in office, Chavez’s virulently anti-American rhetoric will not be missed by local politicians in the US. Here are some of their comments including the President’s:
President Obama: “At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez’s passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government. As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”
Senator Bill Nelson: “The rule of Hugo Chavez is over. Hopefully there will be a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela with real, meaningful democratic reforms.”
Congressman Joe Garcia: “Today represents an opportunity for Venezuela to chart a new path, one that includes all voices, civil society and embraces democracy. If a new Venezuelan government embraces these principles then I am confident that its future will be a bright one.”
Former Congressman Connie Mack, IV: “Today, we do not mourn the death of Hugo Chavez, but instead, we celebrate the possibility that Venezuela can be born anew as a free, secure and prosperous democracy and that Latin America can embark on a new and peaceful path in the world.”
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “The Venezuela people now have an opportunity to emerge from this oppressive regime and regain their democracy and human rights. However, this can only be done through a true democratic process with free, fair, and transparent elections. I am hopeful that democracy will rise from the ashes of the Chavez regime and again become a part of a new Venezuela. Now it is up to the Venezuelan people to redefine and rebuild their nation as a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous state free of the clutches of Chavez and his disastrous social and economic policies.”
Safe to say no love lost over the death of the  controversial and charismatic leader on this side of  the political hemisphere. In the meantime, condolences came from around the world, including messages from filmmaker Oliver Stone and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as weeping Chavez supporters poured onto the streets all over Venezuela, chanting “Chavez lives! The revolution continues!” and “We are Chavez!”
“Don’t let anyone try to convince you Chavez has gone … He will always be with us,” said Congress head Diosdado Cabello. ♦

storm watchThere was a time, not so long ago, when a report of a severe storm front hitting me and fellow residents in the New York City Tri-State area meant I should remember to take my gloves when going out. Now, post Super-scary-storm Sandy (as I like to call her), I sit at my desk typing this blog, listening to the wind hollowing outside like a crazed wolf, while calculating the best location in my apartment to put my end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it Disaster Survival Pack so that I can access it easily, at the same time concocting in my mind a convincing enough story to tell my boss as to why I had to bang out of work today (Geez! I hope he isn’t reading this), while simultaneously listening to the  meteorologists on tv report that a snow storm is taking aim at my area…
Yeah! That ish Sandy was that  SERIOUS!:

A coastal storm is expected to dump as much as six inches of snow in parts of New York City and possible more in other parts of the region late Wednesday into Thursday.
Areas north and west could see half a foot of now on the ground by Thursday morning.
The New York City Department of Sanitation issued a snow alert for Wednesday starting at 3 a.m. A snow alert means that the department begins preparing for a possible snow storm by loading its 365 salt spreaders, attaching plows when necessary, preparing tire chains and notifying supplementary personnel as needed.
Meteorologist Mike Woods is calling for a rain/snow mix for most of the region that will begin to fall midday on Wednesday.
Minor to moderate coastal flooding is expected for the shore line.
The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the Jersey shore, and a Winter Storm Watch and a Wind Advisory for much of the area.
Beach erosion is possible. h/t MyFoxNY

OMG!!! ♦

Later pilgrims (God willing).


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Amy Conton is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in New York, USA.


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